Pipeline protesters now targeting media

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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live): With the Dakota Access Pipeline protest gaining nationwide attention, protesters are now targeting the media. They feel the media is not covering the event like it should be.

Social media websites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have helped share the events taking place in the south west-central part of the state, now a “campaign” is beginning to target media organizations that protesters feel are being biased toward them.

Lists telling people to call different North Dakota agencies, including television stations, are spreading on social media. Here’s how it works: activists call a television station and ask why reporters are not covering the pipeline protest. Many admitted to us they were told to call Valley News Live as the name was on a list.

On Monday, the newsroom received calls from more than two dozen people from New Jersey, Florida, Texas, California and Colorado. And one social justice warrior even agreed to an interview.

"What it is I guess is someone trying to bring the people's voice out a little more, so what we are doing is essentially calling news stations and just simply ask if they are covering it and if not we ask why,” explained Maximo Abreu, who was calling from Union City, NJ.

Abreu says he has no connection to Standing Rock, but claims he is fighting for human rights. He says protesters are being mistreated. Valley News Live Reporter Ashley Bishop countered with facts about protesters being aggressive, not to mention they’re still breaking the law.

“That is just a natural reaction, what it seems to me. From what I’m seeing they were being aggressive first. The police are actually coming in aggressive,” Abreu said over the phone from New Jersey.

Another protester Bishop spoke with said he was calling from California, claiming local news organizations are not airing what he claims are assaults by the police. Other callers said Valley News Live worked for the oil industry.

Valley News Live’s sister station in Bismarck, ND had about 50 protesters outside their station Monday. One person was reportedly arrested.